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Folliculitis Treatment


Hair follicles cover the human body - they are the tiny orifices from which individual hairs grow, and they appear almost everywhere but the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. When your hair follicles become infected it is called folliculitis.


Folliculitis is a skin condition that specifically affects the hair follicles.  and when they become infected, they can form small white headed pimples that can itch and get inflamed. Though in most cases folliculitis is a superficial condition that just represents a minor irritation that will clear itself up in a few days, the condition can take on many different forms, and some are more troublesome than others. At its worst, folliculitis can be extremely painful. It can cause scarring and hair loss, and in some cases it even requires medical intervention.






Types of Folliculitis


Folliculitis is generally categorized as either superficial or deep, and there are a few different varieties of each. Superficial folliculitis can appear in one of four ways: staphylococcal folliculitis, which is caused by the staph bacteria and can appear almost anywhere on the body, is the most common form. Second most common is pseudomonas folliculitis, which is also known as hot tub folliculitis. It tends to appear within a day or two of immersing yourself in a hot tub where proper chlorination and cleaning isn't practiced;it is itchy and red.


Pseudofolliculitis barbae specifically impacts men's beards; it happens when the hair turns back or curls into the follicle and gets impacted. Finally, pityrosporum folliculitis is the last of the superficial forms, and it is caused by an overabundance of yeast growing on the skin. It tends to affect young men and adult males, and appears on the shoulders and chest. Deep folliculitis is generally a much more painful condition and can be more difficult to clear up. It can be seen as sycosis barbae, which impacts the jaw line where men shave. Boils are quite painful and form hard, red lumps that lie deep under the skin -  they sometimes appear individually, but when they show up in large clusters they are known as carbuncles. Finally, eosinophilic folliculitis afflicts those with HIV. It appears in patches and leaves behind areas that are discolored.






Causes of Folliculitis


Folliculitis is generally caused by either a fungus, a virus, or bacteria. The condition can be exacerbated by shaving or perspiration, acne, or anything that irritates your skin. People who are obese are much more likely to develop the condition, as are people who have been taking antibiotics for a long time. There are also a variety of medical conditions that can make you more prone to folliculitis, including diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and leukemia. Taking certain types corticosteroids can make you more vulnerable to the condition, as can having suffered any kind of injury to the skin.


Treatments for Folliculitis


The appropriate treatment for folliculitis depends entirely on what type of folliculitis you have. In some cases, the problem will clear itself up in just a few days, and all you need to do is wash your face a couple of times a day with a gentle antibacterial soap. It is important if you have folliculitis that you are careful to throw away your razor after each use if you are using a disposable; likewise, make sure that you always use a clean towel or washcloth and don't share it with anybody else, because the condition can be spread. If your folliculitis is painful or itchy, sometimes a warm wet compress can be soothing; a lot of people will use oatmeal lotions or creams that contain hydrocortisone to relieve the itching or burning.


For cases that are more complex, the use of a simple antibiotic cream or ointment that you can purchase over the counter is often enough to clear up the infection and get rid of the pimples, while for other people you may require a visit to the doctor. Your physician can write a prescription for a course or oral antibiotics or if you have one of the yeast-based folliculitis conditions you may require an antifungal prescription. In cases of the deep folliculitis conditions such as boils or carbuncles, minor surgery may be required. Your doctor can do this type of procedure right in their office -  an incision is made to release the pus and allow it to drain; you will usually be given a prescription for an oral antibiotic as well. If you have eosinophilic folliculitis, your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid.






Prevention of Folliculitis


If you've had folliculitis once, you don't want to get it again, and although there's little you can do if you got it because of a medical condition, most people are able to follow some simple rules to reduce their risk of getting this irritating condition. Be particular about the hot tubs that you choose to indulge in; if you suspect that it is not well maintained, you are probably better off skipping it. When you shave, be careful to either always use a clean razor or switch to an electric shaver, which does not cut as close and reduces the risk of infection. The use of an antibacterial soap may also reduce your risk of having folliculitis return.



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